Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport
This statement provides an update on the A55 improvement works at Penmaenbach.
I have received correspondence about this issue and appreciate that the works have caused some frustration for road users. Unfortunately, delays were longer than normal the week before last, and poor driver behaviour impacted on our efforts to minimise queuing.
We are unable to re-open the westbound tunnel fully each day as this would extend the overall programme considerably, result in greater health and safety risks and significantly increase scheme costs. However, we did remove the eastbound traffic management during the day on the weekend to minimise delays. Signs have also now been put in place in an attempt to discourage vehicles using Sychnant Pass Road.
Our contractors are working 24/7 to complete the scheme before Christmas. We aim to complete all of our planned winter road works before Easter 2016 and to have the A55 free of traffic management from Easter to the end of the summer road works embargo in September.
I have written previously to Assembly Members regarding our programmes of work for the A55. Details of this particular scheme have been published on our Traffic Wales website, where updates are always available. We also issued a Press Notice and roadside signs were put in place in advance of the scheme starting.
Further works are programmed for Conwy and Pen y Clip tunnels in February and March, but the effect on traffic and the surrounding communities will be significantly less than those at Penmaenbach.
It is important to remember that this work represents a £42 million investment in the infrastructure of North Wales, which will improve the safety and resilience of this key route.